Airbus Defence and Space

Space in daily life Press releases

Galileo IOV satellites 3 and 4 now fully deployed into orbit

• The second pair of Galileo IOV (In-Orbit Validation) satellites, designed and developed by Airbus Defence and Space, are now fully deployed in orbit

• Airbus Defence and Space is the main industrial partner for the European high-performance navigation system with satellites, ground segment, system support and Ariane 5 for launching future Galileo satellites.

• With the successful launch of IOV satellites 3 and 4 on October 12th, Airbus Defence and Space has had five satellites launched within a month

15 October 2012 – The second pair of IOV (In-Orbit Validation) satellites forming part of Europe’s Galileo navigation system, developed and manufactured by Airbus Defence and Space, the European leading space technology company, have been launched aboard a Soyuz rocket from the European Space Centre in French Guiana and are healthy in orbit.

With this initial constellation of four IOV satellites, Airbus Defence and Space has achieved an important milestone in putting the core of the Galileo system in place, having driven the entire design phase. The two latest IOV satellites will soon enter into service in orbit alongside IOV satellites 1 and 2 launched in October 2011. The constellation will now be activated in order to validate the Galileo system. With these four satellites, launched into two different orbit planes, Galileo will prove it can deliver ultra-precise three-dimensional positioning.

Following the announcement of the launch Airbus Defence and Space CEO Evert Dudok said: “Airbus Defence and Space’s teams have been providing their unique know-how and experience to the Galileo programme for more than ten years, since the initial definition of the system and the entry into service of the GIOVE experimental satellites. With the successful launch of the four IOV satellites, we have accomplished our task of laying the foundations for the European navigation system. And our involvement does not end here: Airbus Defence and Space and its subsidiaries will be contributing half of the workshare for the next satellites, delivering the Ground Control Segment (GCS), taking part in system support activities and adapting Ariane 5 for the launch of 4 Galileo satellites at a time.”

The Galileo IOV satellites were designed and built by an Airbus Defence and Space team led from Ottobrunn (Germany). The state-of-the-art navigation payload was designed, integrated and tested at the company’s payload centre of excellence in Portsmouth (UK).

In addition to overseeing the development of the Galileo IOV satellites, Airbus Defence and Space has developed and installed the Galileo Ground Control Segment (GCS) which is used by the operations team to control and command the Satellite constellation in orbit. Furthermore Airbus Defence and Space is a key partner in the System Support activities. In February 2012, Airbus Defence and Space also received a contract from ESA to adapt the Ariane 5 launcher for a Galileo mission involving the simultaneous launch of four satellites.

The definition phase and the development and In-Orbit Validation phase of the Galileo programme were conducted by ESA and co-funded by it and the European Commission.

The Full Operational Capability phase of the Galileo programme is managed and fully funded by the European Commission. The Commission and ESA have signed a delegation agreement under which ESA is authorised to act as the design and procurement agent on behalf of the Commission.

Galileo is Europe’s first global satellite navigation system under civilian control. It will supply ultra-reliable and precise positioning data worldwide.

The launch of these two satellites completes a series where five Airbus Defence and Space built satellites have been launched within a one month period. The first to launch was SPOT 6 on September 9th, followed by Metop B on September 17th, and Astra 2F on September 28th. In total, six Airbus Defence and Space satellites (Yahsat 1B is the sixth) have been launched since January  2012 and three more are expected to be launched before the end of the year: Pléiades 1B , Eutelsat 70B and Skynet 5D.


About Airbus Defence and Space

Airbus Defence and Space is the number one company in Europe for space technologies and the third in the world. In 2011, Airbus Defence and Space had a turnover close to €5 billion and 18,000 employees worldwide, mainly in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain and the Netherlands.

Airbus Defence and Space is the sole European company that covers the whole range of civil and defence space systems and services.

Its three business units are: Airbus Defence and Space for launchers and orbital infrastructure; Airbus Defence and Space for spacecraft and ground segment;  Airbus Defence and Space for comprehensive fixed and mobile end-to-end solutions covering secure and commercial satcoms and networks, high security and broadcast satellite communications equipment and systems, and bespoke geo-information services, worldwide.

Airbus Defence and Space is a wholly owned subsidiary of AIRBUS Group, a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2011, the Group – comprising Airbus, Airbus Defence and Space, Cassidian and Eurocopter – generated revenues of € 49.1 billion and employed a workforce of over 133,000.



Press contacts:

Jeremy Close (Airbus Defence and Space UK)                                                       Tel.: +44 (0)1 438 77 3872

Gregory Gavroy (Airbus Defence and Space FR)                                                    Tel.: +33 (0) 1 77 75 80 32

Ralph Heinrich (Airbus Defence and Space GER)                                                   Tel.: +49 (0) 89 607 33971

Francisco Lechón (Airbus Defence and Space SP)                                                 Tel.: +34 91 586 37 41